Last week of school!

Last week of school! Last week of kindergarten! Last week of my daughter’s class being the smallest kids on campus. 
Most days, I drive through the car line and drop Savvy off and she disappears into a sea of other little kids headed to their classrooms. 
Occasionally – like today – we go early and I have to park and walk her to the gate so she can go to Founders Hall and play for a few minutes before class starts. We hold hands as we walk, chatting about the fun things she’s going to do in class today. Then I lift her up and kiss her goodbye. (It’s the only reason I work out, so I can pick up my daughter and kiss her. Those backpacks are heavy!) You know that commercial where the girl says to her dad “You can drop me off here”? It’s about a car that has a device that lets you not run and other cars or something. We aren’t there yet. She likes holding my hand as we walk. 
It’s kind of a treat now, going to Founders Hall. It didn’t used to be. At the beginning of the school year, we did not like Founders Hall so much. Savvy didn’t know anybody and didn’t like going in there. Lots of noisy kids and chaos. Lots of crying, frightened little kids. Now she knows lots of people and loves Heron Hall. How fast it all changes. 
Today, I parked and walked her to the gate, picked her up and kissed her goodbye. As she sauntered toward Founders Hall I realized I was no longer watching a big backpack with little feet sticking out. Some legs grew over the course of a school year. Now she’s a little girl walking down the little sidewalk. It’s only a distance of 50 feet, but for some reason she turns around and waves goodbye about every five feet. So that means 10 times during a walk of thirty seconds, she turns and waves. She’s just being silly. 10 times in 50 feet. It’s like she takes three paces, turns, waves… When she finally gets to the door, that’s the big finale. She waves and blows a kiss. Sometimes two kisses. And then she disappears through the door to color for a few minutes before regular kindergarten starts. 
And as she walks and waves, I stand there. 
Other cars pull up and their older kids let themselves out. The parents don’t walk to the gate. In a few minutes, all the parking lot attendant people will come out and help kids out of their cars so the car line can start, and the mass assembly line of students departing for the gate will begin. But when you go early you can walk your kid to the gate. Then you can stand there and watch her wave goodbye 10 times. 
So I waited. And I waved goodbye 10 times. 
It feels a little silly because none of the other kids are doing that, not even the few whose parents walked them to the gate. Just us. 
I feel like the eyes of the drivers are on me as they drop off their children and get on with their day. 
It does feel a little silly. 
I don’t care.
Because one day soon enough she will make that walk without turning around and waving goodbye. One day soon enough I’ll be that guy in the car commercial whose kid wants to get dropped off a block from school.
But not today. 
So I stood and waited and smiled waved 10 times and blew her a kiss before she disappeared inside Founders Hall. 
And I’ll do it again tomorrow if she’ll let me. 

16 thoughts on “Last week of school!

  1. I love this one, Dan! It’s very heart-warming and really took me back to the days I dropped off my boys at kindergarten. They are now 19 and 20 years old. How that happened is beyond me. Enjoy those waves. Sniff. Sniff. PS I’m depressed now. lol (kidding)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “I feel like the eyes of the drivers are on me as they drop off their children and get on with their day.
    It does feel a little silly.
    I don’t care.”

    I’m glad you don’t care. Your little girl knows without a doubt she is loved. When I was still teaching I’d occasionally have after school duty in the pickup area. More often than not the parent would barely look up from their phone when the kid got into the car (if they looked up at all). I wanted to yell through the window, “Say hi to your kid! You haven’t seem them all day!” I would have loved to see more parents obviously happy to be with their kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It was our last day of school today as well. The end of first grade. My son smiled and waved at the camera as we left the house but already rarely turns anymore at the top of the bus stairs to make sure I am still waiting at the corner. They get so big so fast.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Today my baby is graduating high school. It’s so…surreal.

    Remembering back to that first day is such a paradox. So long ago, yet JUST HAPPENED.

    Tomorrow, my today will be your today. You’ll be here, too, wondering how you got here already.

    Liked by 1 person

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